I must say, the second episode of Persona 4: The Animation didn’t enchant me as much as the first one did. This isn’t because the novelty has worn off, but due to a couple of missteps that may lead the series to a path of self-destruction. Thankfully, the source material Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is still good and will forever be as it goes down the annals of history as one of the most memorable video games ever created, so The Contractor’s Key is still somewhat enjoyable. I’ll keep this short and head straight into the factors that, as far as I’m concerned, pulled the episode down.
1. Yu Narukami has taken a more active role, and he did it too soon. I’m fine with him becoming an alpha male and boning all her female friends later in the show like he did in the game. Right now, there’s no justifying him suddenly becoming more personable considering he just arrived in town. Could his new attitude be a side-effect to unlocking his Persona? Possibly, but that’s a silly explanation.
2. The plot is moving too fast. I appreciate how You’re Myself, I’m Yourself hurried to get the TV world and Izanagi out. Unlike in video games where uneventful 24 minutes are acceptable, we’re talking about an anime show here – the first episode has to be gripping enough for people to come back for more. However, there’s no reason to be at such a brisk pace all the time. What was magical about P4 is that it carefully crafted a believable depiction of high school life, and gave the player a chance to make Social Links through friends. In The Contractor’s key, we do see one S-link developing, but only after spending almost the entire time in the Midnight Channel. High school kids do NOT hang out inside their TVs all the time. In Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, we got to see day-to-day events unfold, hear students rumormonger about their teachers and the hottest girls and town, and the P4 protagonist making friends in an environment that’s completely alien to him. The anime can’t overlook this part of P4, because that would be scrapping the series’s merits altogether.
Here’s to hoping episode 3 will be much better and more aptly titled, though the preview makes me think Persona 4: The Animation might sift through all the Midnight Channel sections and call it a wrap. To make you feel better, here’s live Persona music!
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